After reading another blog recently, The Happiest Mom, I revisited the idea of kid food. She is not a food blog, but she posted her families favorite 7 Dinners, and said that her kids really favor meat & potato type meals.
Well, ok then.
I hadn’t cooked anything like that all summer, so a few weeks ago, while all the kids went to the dump with dad on a Saturday morning, (a big thank you to the guys at the dump who hand out lollypops. Thanks to you, I have enjoyed a whole summer of quiet on Saturday mornings while the kids pile in to go with dad. Oh the power of a lollypop bribe.) I set out to try out a classic Pot Roast.
There are a lot of crock pot recipes out there. This isn’t one of them.
If you all remember my post The Drunken Half Cow, I detail my love of both our freezer full of grass-fed beef from Vermont, and cooking it with booze. For help in these matters, I turn to the cookbook Fresh and Honest, by chef Peter Davis in Cambridge, MA. The book reads like a New England Grandmother’s recipe box, with a dedication to using fresh and local ingredients. Most of all, it reflects the Humble Onion philosophy that good simple quality ingredients are all you need to produce extraordinarily delicious food.
It is the BEST pot roast I have EVER had.
The ingredient list reads like the most boring pantry list of a home cook ever. Don’t be fooled. The result is GLORIOUS.
Of course, how can you go wrong when you start with this:
from Fresh and Honest, by Chef Peter Davis
1 4-lb. piece of chuck
4 T. vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic
2 carrots, roughly chopped
3 celery sticks, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 cup red wine
3 cups Veal or Beef Stock
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Preheat oven to 350
Season chuck with S & P
Place a heavy-bottomed pot on the stove over medium heat. Add the oil and brown the chuck on all sides. Remove the chuck from the pot and set aside. Add the garlic, carrot, celery, and onion and brown well. Pour the red wine into the pot and reduce by half.
Add the meat, stock, bay leaves, and thyme into the pot, and bring to a boil. Place the uncovered pot into the oven.
Cook the roast for 2 1/2 hours, turning every half hour. if the sauce reduces too much and becomes thick, add 1 cup water.
Remove the pot roast from the oven when it is fork-tender. Remove the meat from the pot and set aside. Skim the fat off the top of the sauce. Puree the sauce and season with S & P. Slice the meat across the grain, top with the sauce and serve.
And Megan from Happiest Mom was right. I could barely finish my dinner because the kids kept asking for ‘more meat!’ and ‘more potatoes!’. Even Baby Sean loved it (my nephew). The best part was pureeing the bottom of the pot bits – carrots, onions, celery, wine, broth and meat bits. This gravy was high-octane flavor.
Here is to Saturday night dinners, where ever you are.